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Need detailed instructions how to swap servers

Posted on 2007-11-13
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Hello, first question, but long time viewer of many threads! Anyway, here is goes:

We have Server A which is a Dell Poweredge 2600, currently running Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2.  It has the built in network 10/100/1000 on the motherboard, and an additional Intel 10/100/1000 PCI-X.  We have the server configured perfectly, it runs great.  The 10/100/1000 Intel card is for the internet, and the 10/100/1000 motherboard is for the local connection.

Well Server A has been having a lot of problems.  Fans are died, power supplies have died, now the onboard motherboard 10/100/1000 is acting up (tried switching cables, etc).  Soooo, we bought another Dell PowerEdge 2600 (Server B).

It is basically the identical machine.  The only difference being it does not have the Intel PCI-X network card (which I can add to it).

My question is, I need to swap the hard drives from Server A to Server B.  It's easy, but I don't want my SBS2003 configuration to get messed up because it can't find the old local area connection hardware (it will have a new piece of equipment to do that).

Is there anything I should do to avoid messing up my perfectly good software configuration?  Please provide detailed instructions so I can avoid any mistakes.  Thanks
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Question by:mickeyfickymix
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Beldoran
ID: 20277119
I assume you are backing up server A and server B has its own drives?

If so do a restore on the new hardware and see what happens (do not plug into the network just in case). This ensures your original system remains untouched.
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Author Comment

by:mickeyfickymix
ID: 20277145
Actually I don't have any extra drives.  I do have a tape backup which does daily backups.  But current Server A has (6) 147 gig hot swap drives - configured in raid.  Server B came with no drives, no memory (just a barebones machine).
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Expert Comment

by:Beldoran
ID: 20277163
Ow, You will have to be careful if you swap the drives then as the raid config is server based not on the drives. You may destroy the data/config.

I do not have the expertise to safely advise here, sorry.
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Author Comment

by:mickeyfickymix
ID: 20277186
No worries, I do appreciate your help.  Just so others know, both systems do have the same exact Dell PERC raid card in them, and from my experience with the PowerEdge 2600, the data should be fine if I move the hard drives in the correct order (the raid config will be preserved).

My main issue is the network.  I cant afford to loose any time where employees can't access the server (because of the change in hardware)... Then again, the connection is already acting up (when the server isn't overheating!)
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 2000 total points
ID: 20277810
If it were me, I would make an image backups of your current volumes.  You can easily do this with Acronis True Image Server's Trial Version.  http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATISWin/

Have the image get saved to either a USB Hard Drive (you can pick up a 500GB drive for less than $200.00 these days).

Then, pull the RAM, NIC and RAID Array out of the old server and put them in the new one and see what happens.  I think it should work just fine as long as everything is EXACTLY the same.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20277813
One other note... make sure that your server is kept in a WELL ventilated area... because you may very well just end up in the same position... those Dell PE 2600's can definitely generate some heat.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:mickeyfickymix
ID: 20277877
Thanks Jeff.,... I was hoping you would chime in here (read 150+ posts of yours to help me set the server up in the first place).

I'll be doing the switch over Thursday night and report back with any issues and make the reward then.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20277930
Thanks.. I'd be interested in hearing how it turns out.  

One other thing I'd suggest is that if it goes well... consider replacing the power supply and fans with ones that are a bit more powerful.  Plus the 730W Power Supplies that came with PE2600's aren't nearly as efficient as ones made today.... (PE2800''s come with a 930W PS which produces less heat than the 730W in the PE2600).

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:mickeyfickymix
ID: 20283940
from your knowledge, are the 2800's power supplies compatible with the 2600 chassis?
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20284021
I don't know specifically, but I would assume so.  Power supplies are a pretty standard.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:mickeyfickymix
ID: 20301058
Jeff, I'm going to go ahead and reward you the points because of great tip for Acronis.

The system move didnt go so hot.  There seems to be a hardware issue with the raid on the new computer that corrupted some of the necessary windows files.  luckily i had the image and was able to pop the drives back in the old system and do a restore.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 20301512
Well, I'm glad that at least you were covered!

If you want to have another go at it, you should first be aware though that there are two different Motherboards that were offered with PE2600's... so perhaps you don't have an identical system?

Then, I found this which may help:  http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/software/svradmin/1.9/en/stormgmt/movdisks.html

Essentially you can use Dell OpenManage to backup the current RAID configuration to then apply it to the new server.  OpenManage can also make sure that everything else is the same.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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